Well received, though not quite good enough, LORE is a WWII end-game film taken from a child’s POV. Lore, at fourteen she’s the eldest of five siblings, is left in charge after her pro-Nazi parents flee the advancing Allies. Trying to reach grandmother who lives across the international sectors that now divide defeated Germany, the children reluctantly latch on to a wandering Jew, a survivor with secrets of his own. Alone & directionless, the young man suddenly finds his Jewish identity papers an asset, especially to sympathetic American soldiers. It certainly sounds intriguing, but it plays a little too neat. Or is it the manner of Australian director Cate Shortland with hard to read close-ups predominating and only letting us know as much as the children do. Indoctrinated in Nazi ideology by the missing parents, they’re certainly an ungrateful lot, slow to adjust to the fast changing situations and tragically unaware of just how tough & unsentimental you’d need to be to survive years on the run. The script also has its troubles moving to the next step along the route. At its best in moments of split-second confusion and its worst when trying to be dramatically thoughtful, considerably weighing down its own endgame.
DOUBLE-BILL: Agnieszla Holland’s EUROPA EUROPA/’90 covers more ground with less forcing.